Whatever Happened To Rick Moranis?

Fans of the classic family movie "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids" are in for a treat with Disney's upcoming reboot and follow-up, "Shrunk." The movie, which stars Josh Gad, will also feature a fan favorite actor: Rick Moranis.

Moranis starred in the original film as a father and inventor, according to IMDb. He's also known for various other comedic roles in blockbuster hits that defined comedy throughout the '80s and '90s. But it's been some time since Moranis returned to the big screen. According to Movieweb, he even turned down a chance to appear in a "Ghostbusters" reboot.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Moranis has limited the projects he's worked on to a select few, but he's not fully retired yet. In fact, Moranis has kept busy with writing and voice acting through the 2000s. So you might have encountered his work, even if you didn't realize it. But what sparked the change?

Moranis' early-career success

Rick Moranis is no stranger to showbiz. He started out on a sketch comedy show called "Second City TV" in 1980, according to IMDb, and within just a few years was making a name for himself in Hollywood. Moranis starred in about 15 movies in the 1980s alone, according to IMDb, many of which went on to define the comedy and culture of the time.

From "Ghostbusters" to "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids," Moranis was a familiar sight for moviegoers of all ages. He often played lovable, nerdy characters who won the hearts of everyone in the audience. He starred in the movie musical "Little Shop of Horrors," a role that he said was a favorite, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

"I'm the luckiest guy to get that," Moranis said. "It was timing, and I fit the right type. It was an amazing experience. One of the greatest moments of my life was shooting that thing."

Stepping back from the spotlight

Rick Moranis started turning down acting roles after his wife died from breast cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Anne Moranis, born Anne Belsky, was a Canadian costume designer, and she and Moranis married in 1986 (via Primal Information). She and Rick had two children together, according to The Hollywood Reporter, although Rick Moranis doesn't discuss them with the press and works to keep his personal life private.

Anne Moranis' death occurred in February 1991, just five years after they married (via Primal Information). She was just 35 years old. Instead of acting in movies, Rick Moranis told USA Today he spent most of his time after that raising two kids. They were still in school at the time of his wife's death. It was hard managing parenthood and an acting career, he said, so he scaled back. Moranis didn't think of it as retirement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"It wasn't a formal decision," Moranis said. "It began in an already busy year where I declined a film that was being shot out of town as the school year was beginning. But I was fortunate to be able to continue to make a living writing and doing voice work in Manhattan."

What he's been up to

Rick Moranis is still occasionally offered roles in films, but he told The Hollywood Reporter he's been picky about what jobs he accepts. For Moranis, the work has to be an interesting and creative story, interesting enough to act in (via The Hollywood Reporter). (Apparently the "Ghostbusters" reboot didn't meet that standard.)

Moranis has still appeared on many projects since his wife passed. He voiced the character Rutt in Disney's animated film "Brother Bear," according to IMDb, as well as in related video game and sing-along materials. He played Barney Rubble in a live action production of "The Flintstones" in 1994, as well as numerous other films, and he's earned writing and directorial credits on a television series.

Perhaps the most surprising thing Moranis has pursued is a career in comedy albums, like the country collection "The Agoraphobic Cowboy," according to Mental Floss. The album was even nominated for a Grammy. He then followed up with additional comedy musical albums that focused on his life as a Jewish man, according to Mental Floss.

His surprise return to video

Despite his ventures into music and voice acting, Rick Moranis maintained a distance from acting onscreen. It wasn't until 2020 that he returned, and it was in a way you probably wouldn't expect: a commercial alongside Ryan Reynolds (via Movieweb). The ad was for Mint Mobile, a cellular service Movieweb reports Reynolds has invested in financially.

The clip is less than a minute long and includes Reynolds describing Moranis as "an actor we've all gone too long without." The reference to his break is brief, but Reynolds later said on Twitter that he "wept" when Moranis agreed to appear onscreen with him. According to Movieweb, Reynolds was surprised that Moranis agreed to do it at all.

"Like many, I've missed seeing Rick in movies for the past decade, so I pretty much begged him to reemerge for Mint," Reynolds said. "There's really no good reason for it except this year has been weird and I thought we could all use more Rick Moranis." The ad also referred to Moranis as a "comedy legend."

A new project in the works

Now that Rick Moranis has returned to television, it seems he's set to make it back to the big screen. "Shrunk," the upcoming follow-up to "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids," one of Moranis' most memorable performances, is in the works at Disney, and Moranis is on board for the project (via People).

Moranis starred in the original film as scientist and inventor Wayne Szalinksi. He'll be returning to play that same role this time around, according to People, but the movie will focus on his now-adult son, Nick, played by Josh Gad. The movie is Moranis' first major onscreen role since he stepped back to focus on his family, according to People.

The movie has been pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Movieweb, but current plans aim for production to start sometime this year. Moranis' return has sparked excitement for the movie, including an Instagram post from Gad teasing Moranis' involvement.